History/ Mission

The 2-Year Program is developed at the initiative of Dr. Amy Schaffer, a psychologist and psychoanalyst who is a graduate of ICP’s 4-Year Program.  She and other 4-Year Program faculty members were concerned about what seemed to be a shift in some graduate schools away from psychoanalysis. This new program, she believed, would provide an introduction to psychoanalytic thinking for people motivated to improve their clinical work who might not necessarily seek out psychoanalytic training. She hoped that some might be inspired to continue more training after completing the new program.

Additionally, she knew many professionals were eager to enroll in the 4-year program but had neither the time nor money to commit to so intensive a training.  Finally, she and her colleagues wanted to reach clinicians who might have other orientations but who were motivated to integrate some psychodynamic thinking into their work. Dr. Schaffer believed that even if these people never identified as psychodynamic clinicians, they would be better therapists as the result of our training.  That, alone, would be worthwhile.

In planning the curriculum, Dr. Schaffer and colleagues realized that to accomplish these goals: a) the emphasis of the program would be clinical (theory would be taught to help candidates become better clinicians); and b) candidates would be exposed to the most current thinking in the profession along with some of the critically important historical roots, as opposed to being steeped in the historical roots alone.

Dr. Schaffer says: “We did an entire year of intensive planning without knowing if a single student would apply. When the applications started pouring in, we knew we were addressing a real need.” The first class entered in September 1996, and the program has continued to provide a high-quality education to clinicians of all levels of experience.  Many of our graduates have found that their exposure to psychodynamic thinking did inspire them to continue on with analytic training.